In the last month we hosted our first youth retreat, exceeded the goal of our Indiegogo campaign, and garnered major press for imposing ashes in Union Square.
Twenty-one young people attended our Spring 2014 Holy Imagination Youth Retreat, the first of many offerings in partnership with our friends at Trenton Area Campus Ministries. With the help of professor and pastor Claudio Carvalhaes, we spent the weekend in worship and fellowship, naming our identities, and claiming our stories and voices. At the end of the retreat, all 21 youth anonymously reported they strongly want to attend another retreat. We're already planning!
When 163 of you gave to last month's Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign in support of our annual LGBTQ Future Pastors Retreat, our spirits soared. Because of the $16,160 you contributed, we'll be able to offer more scholarships than ever to brave souls changing the face of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Your support of this community empowers the church to embody the inclusive ordination standards for which we fought for decades.
Being interviewed by five major press outlets is not what we had in mind when we gathered in Union Square, Manhattan on Ash Wednesday. As Matt Beams, a steadfast member of our Not So Churchy community, wrote, "The purpose in being out in Union Square distributing ashes was to provide a place for people... who might even think they're not worthy of going into a church." But it seems the Daily News, Huffington Post,FOX 5, Telemundo, and Wall Street Journal, were interested in our very public Christian witness on the streets of New York City. Mark your calendars for next year because we won't let the paparazzi stop us!
As we enter the Lenten season, we know we journey with your support for a church that knows no bounds. Thank you.